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This chapter contains the relation of wonderful events: five kings wage war against Joshua, in the south of Canaan. Gibeon is made the seat of war, in the first instance, because of their league with Israel. Joshua hasteneth to the rescue of Gibeon, and carrieth on his victories, in taking and destroying six royal cities: the sun and moon at the voice of Joshua stand still: hailstones are sent from heaven, to aid Joshua in the destruction of the kingdoms: after his victories Joshua returneth unto Gilgal.
I have often pondered over the name of this king, and been led to wonder whence he derived it. Adoni signifies Lord, and hence our Jesus is called Adonai, Psalms 110:1 , where it is said, Jehovah the Lord said unto my Adonai, Lord. And again by the prophet, I saw also the Adonai, meaning Christ, sitting upon a throne, etc. Isaiah 6:1 , And his other name, Zedak signifies righteousness. But what reference had his name to his character? Alas! so far from being righteous, he joins in league with the enemies of God. Reader! what a pity is it in the present day, to discover so many precious names of scripture, given to men who have nothing precious in them!
If Gibeon was so much greater than Ai, and yet had found it necessary to make peace with Israel, had Adonizedek been equally wise, would he not have followed the example? See, Reader, the difference between nations as, well as persons. And is it not grace which maketh men to differ? 1 Corinthians 4:7 . Observe, moreover, that as Joshua, after the treaty with Gibeon, did not immediately penetrate into the country of Canaan, and space was left for other nations to follow their example, doth it not serve to manifest the long-suffering of the Lord? Jesus speaks of this space given to sinners to repent, in the case of Jezebel, as among the just arguments of condemnation. Revelation 2:20-21 . Observe yet further, Reader, that Gibeon calls forth the displeasure of Adonizedek, because of its amity with Israel. Yes! no sooner is a soul converted to Jesus, but the devil takes alarm, and will stir up his agents to persecute. Hence our dear Lord saith, if the world hate you ye know it hated me, before it hated you. John 15:18-19 .
If we spiritualize the passage, it affords an interesting view of a distressed soul calling upon Jesus, because of the united force of all his spiritual adversaries. Psalms 3:1-2 , to the end. Reader! how stands the case with your soul! Have you, like Gibeon, made your peace with Joshua, Jesus? And are his enemies, and your enemies in consequence of it, come out against you, to battle? These are what I call precious marks of Jesus's love. And to such that promise is very sure. Matthew 5:10 .
It is sweet to behold the readiness of Jesus to fly to the relief of his distressed people. Whoso toucheth them, toucheth the apple of his eye. My soul! take confidence, Jesus will hasten to thy succour: so saith his promise: and so proves my experience. Psalms 1:6 .
Observe the constant presence, and as constant assurance of the protection of God. Matthew 28:20 .
See how the soldiers of Joshua encountered the fatigues of the night. And shall not the followers of the Lamb endure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ? 2 Timothy 2:3 .
Let the Reader particularly observe, that Jehovah is said to have discomfited them before Israel: perhaps, by the terrors of the Lord upon their minds. And by these stones, with which the slaughter of them was chiefly accomplished; it should seem, that the enemy was destroyed where Joshua and his army did not come: for Betheron lay to the north of Gibeon, whereas Joshua and his army was attacking them by Azikah, and Makkidah, which were southward. Job 38:22-23 .
This memorable event, one of the most extraordinary we meet with in history, hath mightily amused sceptics. But it is the misapprehension of the thing itself, which hath occasioned their folly, and not the real fact. God was pleased to suspend the light of the heavenly bodies, for the purpose of Joshua ' s carrying on the great victory, of destroying the enemies of the Lord. It was not the body of the sun that stood still in Gibeon, nor the moon itself in Ajalon: but the reflected light of those heavenly bodies. The original word, which means the sun or body of the sun, in Scripture is Chemah; and that of the moon Libnah; whereas, in this passage, the original is Shemish, solar light; and Jarech, lunar light; evidently meaning, that the Lord miraculously caused the reflected light of the sun and moon, to answer the purposes intended, by preserving both on the earth for the discomfiture of his enemies. And is there anything for laughter in this? Can anything be too hard with God? Doth not the Holy Ghost say, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us? 1 John 5:14 . Read that wonderful condescension of God: Isaiah 45:11 . We have no account in God's word, concerning this book of Jasher. Probably it was some historian of that day. But from not being commissioned by the Holy Ghost to write, no further account is taken of him. I stop the Reader, just to beg him to remark with me, that at the death of our glorious Joshua, which was the hour of his victory over death, hell, and the grave, the reverse of this miracle took place; for the sun was darkened at midday. And I detain him once more to observe, that there is a day coming when all the victories of our glorious Joshua shall be summed up, and it is promised that the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come. See Luke 23:44-45 ; Acts 2:20 And doth not Jesus suspend the operations of nature very frequently, and the powers of darkness, in order to carry on his victories in the hearts of his people? The Holy Ghost gives us authority to believe this, by what he saith in the ministry of his servant the prophet: when he goeth forth for the salvation of his people. Habakkuk 3:11-13 .
Some conceive that the phrase, none moved his tongue against Israel, was meant to say, that none of Israel was missing at the end of the battle; which seems more probable, and more important to record. There will be none of our Joshua's army missing, when he makes up the people. John 17:12 . Concerning the hiding of the five kings, we may remark, that none of Jesus's enemies can escape his all-piercing eye. Hebrews 4:13 .
So, Reader, will your Jesus, your Joshua, do by all his enemies and yours. Jehovah, the Father, hath said, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Psalms 110:1 . So will he do by yours. The God of peace will bruise Satan under your feet shortly. Romans 16:20 .
"Remain until this very day, " doth not mean the day of the Reader's perusal of the history: but the day of the history itself being recorded.
I bring all these into one point of view for the sake of shortness. They only serve to illustrate the astonishing victory of Joshua. But the grand point I wish to interest the Reader to attend to in this history is, the glorious victory of Jesus, over all the enemies of our salvation, which are here most beautifully represented in type and figure. As Joshua utterly destroyed all and everything which belonged to the enemy: so our glorious Joshua will eternally destroy all that oppose his finished salvation. Of them it is most positively said, they shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 .
BEHOLD, my soul, in the distresses brought upon the Gibeonites, by reason of their league with Joshua, what a lively picture it affords of every renewed soul, in the conflicts it is sure to be engaged in, whenever it is brought to seek fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Do I not know the truth of that scripture by heartfelt experience, that they who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Oh! happy experience! blessed testimony! Be it my joy to suffer all things, so I may win Christ! Dearest Jesus! vouchsafe to make a league with my soul! grant me an interest in thy covenant, and then will I not fear, though the earth be moved, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
Behold again, my soul, with holy joy in the perusal of this chapter, the victories of Joshua, and contemplate in them, the representation of the victories of thy Joshua over all the host of foes, and in the sure possession of Canaan. Yes! Jesus hath conquered all. In vain have all the confederate powers united. The sun was darkened at his triumphs, and the moon shall be turned into blood, in the completion of his redemption. The stars from heaven shall fall, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken, in token of Jesus's victory and the conquest of his redeemed ones. Oh! thou dear Redeemer, thou Almighty Joshua, great Captain of my salvation! God thy Father girded thee with strength unto the battle; and thou hast not only cast down all principalities and powers, but thou makest thy people to put their feet upon the necks of their enemies. Lead me on, dearest Lord, to thy victories. By the sword of thy Spirit, even thine holy word, and by the armour of thy salvation, give me grace to subdue all the remaining enemies of corruption within me, as well as the foes without; and wake me more than conqueror through thee, and thy grace helping me: that it may be said of me as of the armies of heaven: they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany